With Halloween a little over a week away many families will carve pumpkins to use as decorations for the holiday. Below are 8 tips to help keep you safe while carving your creation.
Remember, your goal is to carve the pumpkin and not yourself! Prevent a sprint for the first aid kit or the emergency room by following these tips.
1. The Workstation
Set up your carving workstation on a well-lit dry surface. You don’t want those pumpkins to slip and slide! Use a tray or jar to store your tools when not in use. If the kids are going to help, make sure they can easily reach the work surface.
2. Keep the Kids Safe
If children are involved, they should be supervised at all times. Ask the younger kids to help by decorating with glue sticks and glitter, magic markers and other child-friendly materials. Older children could help punch out the design on the pumpkin, and if they’re permitted to use a knife, encourage them to work slowly and monitor them at all times.
3. Knife Selection
If you’re reaching for a chef’s knife, please put it down now! A small knife with a short serrated blade is your best bet for pumpkin carving. The knife that’s included in a pumpkin carving kit you find at the store is a great example of what you should use. That type of knife usually has a serrated blade that’s not as sharp as the kitchen knives you have at home. Sharper isn’t better when it comes to pumpkin carving, and the serrated edge will make your work even easier.
4. Point the Blade Away
Point the blade edge away from you as much as possible while carving out the design. If your hand slips or you loose control of the blade, you’re less likely to get cut.
5. Saw Instead of Slice
Gently saw back and forth through the pumpkin to complete your design. Take your time and avoid the urge to make big slices so that you don’t injure yourself.
6. Let the Force Be With You
Wielding your knife with a gentle force is best. Applying a lot of power to your knife can more easily result in injury if the blade slips our you slice through your pumpkin.
7. Watch Where You Put Your Hands
Be mindful of where you put your free hand while carving. If you use one of your hands to steady the pumpkin, be cautious that you don’t poke or slice all the way through the pumpkin to the other side.
8. Battery Power is Best
Forget about candles. They create a fire hazard and it’s not worth the risk. Battery powered lights are best when it’s time to illuminate your pumpkin. Wrap a short string of lights around a canning jar or small vase and place it inside the pumpkin for maximum illumination.